Explanation of school needs through the "Sponsor a Child Program" -
August 1, 2003
Updated March 23, 2005

Education of the children is central to the future of Bayonnais and Haiti.  Many children in Haiti do not receive any education, and the very large majority do not get any secondary education, especially outside the cities.

The mission of  the OFCB school is to correct this situation in Bayonnais, which is a remote area in the mountainous area of northern Haiti.  The school was founded in 1993 and now has grades K-13.  The 13th grade is like a college preparatory year  in the U.S.

Current operational expenses include teachers, food, text books, other materials, and administration. Teaching is conducted in a five-room school building, the original church (3-4 classes), the new, much larger church (6th-13th grades), and under the many mango trees on the campus.  There were about 783 primary students and 403 secondary students in the 2004-5 school year. As of November, 2010 the school has 1,072 primary students and 703 secondary students for a total of 1,775 students. As you can tell, space is quite limited and a number of classes are held on bench type desks under the pleasant shade of a mango tree.

Teaching, as in the United States, is done in an age-appropriate way. They teach the basics of elementary education, plus French, English, and Spanish, science, calculus, physics, chemistry, philosophy, biology, geology and other subjects.

The daily schedule is: primary 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; secondary 12:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.  Devotions are held at the beginning of the school day and a bible course is taught to every class from K-13.  The children are fed a good meal of rice and beans Monday through Friday.  This is important, since many children have an inadequate diet.

Who pays for this education?

A small tuition is charged, starting at about US$3 per school year for the primary school students.  The secondary school is more expensive, about US$80-90 for tuition and fees. Other 7th - 13th private secondary schools (none in Bayonnais) would charge many times this amount.  It is important to charge something, since people there feel that if something is free, it is not as valuable. It also provides some help to meet the costs of the school.  Financial aid is provided in cases where a family just cannot afford even a small amount.  Currently, most of the school costs are met by contributions from the United States.

What can you do?

Historically, people have been asked to make monthly donations of $20-30 per month. This program was started in 1995 by South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church (SMPC) in Charlotte, North Carolina.  It now includes many other donors from the United States.  It is helpful to the school to have a steady flow of monetary support, but all donations are gratefully received.

Donations of food, school books and other school supplies are sometimes made.  However, since shipping costs are high, it is much more cost efficient for OFCB to buy these things locally with donated money.

SMPC acts as a donation center, since it has a U.S. bank account set up for OFCB.  This allows 100% of the money donated to reach the school.  No person or organization other than OFCB receives any of the donations.  Your donations are 100% tax deductible.  SMPC provides printed acknowledgement of donations quarterly.

If you donate $35 or more on a monthly basis, a student at the school will be assigned to you.  You will receive a picture of your student and a description of the student and the student's family. You can write to the student and the student will write to you at least once a year.

Thank you for reading this.  Please consider helping to provide more children in Bayonnais with a wonderful Christian education.  These children ARE the future of Haiti.

For a Tax Deductible Gift Send Contributions to:

South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church
8601 Bryant Farms Rd
Charlotte, NC  28277-1606